Monday, 3 December 2012

Specvent Calendar Day 3 - Spectipede

[In-game screen]
Spectipede (R&R Games, 1983)

R&R Games may have originally released it (as a freebie on the b-side of their pretty impressive Pacman clone Gnasher, according to WoS in the above link) but it came to me courtesy of the Speccy software equivalent of (two) Poundland, Mastertronic. Indeed this was my introduction to the world of budget games, purchased on a whim from the old Jet petrol station in Chester (there used to be three petrol stations on the one road, now there's none - what happened, did petrol become too cheap to sell?!?)

No prizes for guessing the inspiration here, but what does impress is how accurate the gameplay is for 1983; character-based movement, yes, but fluid nonetheless. The mushrooms disappear in sections, scorpions, spiders and fleas are all present and correct, and the spider is jsut as annoying as in the arcade. All that's missing really is the trackball...

Again, Spectipede predates the dawn of Crash, but the Mastertronic rerelease does make the hallowed pages and garners 72% and the comment "the cheapest Centipede... is also the best around", though none of the reviewers seem to realise it's the same game already described in the Living Guide as, well, "the best Centipede game around"... Sinclair User also found it "exhilarating" though HCW rained on the R&R release by claiming that "graphics and sound are not up to present standards" - not sure what they were playing back then but I think they were possibly mistaken!

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